Through Our Eyes – 10/17/17

Best of the best:

Laura Webb waves goodbye to her foster son Dawson as he goes to school. Unknown to Dawson, his mother and father would soon leave for a court appointment regarding the adoption of him and his brother. After three years of foster care, the court system changed the goal of the boys’ case to adoption and decided to begin the process of terminating parental rights.|Morgan Hornsby

Honorable mention:

WKU tight end Mik’Quan Deane (85) catches a pass for a touch down at the WKU Homecoming football game on Saturday October 14, 2017 at LT Smith Stadium. WKU won 45 to 14.|Silas Walker

Other work:

A fight breaks out between patrons and is quickly pushed out into the parking lot during Yo Gotti’s performance at a concert on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the Sloan Convention Center.

Saxton lights one of many kerosene lamps for light in his home as the sun sets.

Dawson waits for the bus while his foster mother Laura Webb dries her hair in preparation for their upcoming court appointment. Unknown to Dawson, his mother and father would soon leave for court to receive a hearing on the status of the adoption of him and his brother. After three years of foster care, the court system changed the goal of the boys’ case to adoption and decided to begin the process of terminating parental rights.|Morgan Hornsby

Paige Henderson dances with her friend Melody Dickerson in Henderson’s dorm room. The two are both on the Major Redz majorette-style dance team. Since meeting at tryouts, they spend most days practicing routines or creating new choreographyÑ ÒhomeworkÓ for the Major Redz. ÒMost days, we dance,Ó Henderson said. ÒEverywhere, sometimes in the Chick-Fil-A line.Ó

Wide Receiver Cameron Echols-Luper #23 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers gives high fives to young fans after his game against Charlotte at L.T. Smith Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.|Shaban Athuman

Quarterback Brooks Barden #12 of the Charlotte 49ers is tacked by Defensive Back Drell Greene #9 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at L.T. Smith Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. |Shaban Athuman

A member of the WKU Athletic staff holds a smoke canister before as the Hilltoppers are introduced on the field to play against Charlotte at L.T. Smith Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. |Shaban Athuman

Frank Phelps outside his mechanic shop in Bowling Green, Ky. Phelps and Son was once run by himself and his father, Andrew, but he has since taken over, often working 12-hour days.

Through Our Eyes – 10/10/17

Best of the best:

Autour Love, 46, holds a framed photo of his deceased son Javon Saadig Jackson, who was murdered by a drive by shooting on December 1st, 2016, he was 19.”First 20 minutes I heard about my son getting shot, I was Boom, out the house, drove straight from Park DuValle to 12th and Hill Street. All of the anger I let go when I was younger grew back inside me. The coroner didn’t even lay a sheet over my son’s dead body. Had him lounged over the car with his lifeless body, blood dripping on the ground. I left the streets for my son to learn from my past life lessons. All I can do now is lay back; ask God for answers, because the streets won’t give me answers.” Autour Love said while reflecting on the memory of his son Javon Saadig Jackson. October 9th, 2017. |Michael Blackshire

Honorable mention:

Running back Luke Owen #21 of the Salem Spartans scores a touchdown against Patrick Henry on Friday Oct. 06, 2017 in Roanoke, Va. |Shaban Athuman

Kenneth Forbes Sr., 45, son died a year and seven months after graduating from Valley High School in Louisville, KY. Kenneth Forbes Jr. died on December 23rd, 2012 in a parking lot off of Dixie Highway. “Christmas isn’t a good time for me, my son died two days before Christmas; that breaks me down every year. I don’t celebrate holidays. The closes people to me always ask me whats wrong, and I’m thinking do you know what happened to me man. I only have one son now, and I had to burry my first born. I suffer from grief, anxiety, and depression. Don’t ask me whats wrong, sometimes I just want to lay down in bed all day. I can never accept my son being murdered. I can find closure through reflection but my life changed on December 23rd 2012.” Kenneth Forbes Sr. said. October 8th, 2017. |Michael Blackshire

Through Our Eyes – 10/3/17

Best of the best:

Reggie Gough, 58, brushes the dirt off one of his horses before going on a ride in Franklin, Ky., on a Tuesday afternoon. “This horse has broken my collar bone, stepped on my hand, and kicked me in the face. I called her Suzy but I nickname her Bull. She’s my favorite horse but I swear the last time she injured me I had to strain myself to not put her down,” Reggie Gough said.

Honorable mention:

Reggie Gough rides his horse Suzy while his other horse Mustang stays close with a halter carrying the horses to their resting stop. “I’m not a cowboy, I’m a horseman,” said Gough. “Cowboy’s chase cows, I make sure horses have tender hooves and a sore back, plus black man are afraid of ropes.” |Michael Blackshire

Bernard Djuma grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and after moving the Bowling Green, Ky., joined BG Projects United, a local soccer team for African refugees. The team was started three years ago and is sponsored by the Housing Authority of Bowling Green and Christ Fellowship Church. |Skyler Ballard

Dawson stands in his backyard in Edmondson County, Kentucky. Nearby, his mother and father take turns watching Dawson and his little brother Alex as they jump on the trampoline together and fight over who gets to ride their shared scooter. The boys have been in foster care with the Webb-Thomas family for three years. In just a week, the family will find out in court if they will become permanent guardians of the brothers or if they will return to their biological parents. Shot on 120 film. |Morgan Hornsby

Members of Bowling Green Projects United, a local soccer team for African refugees, practice for an upcoming game. The team, which ranges from elementary to high school players, was started by Daniel Tarnagda as a way for the the members to integrate into the community. |Skyler Ballard

Running back Jakairi Moses #29 of the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers dives into the end zone to score a touchdown against Ball State on September 23, 2017 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. |Shaban Athuman

Members of Bowling Green Projects United, a local soccer team for African refugees, practice for an upcoming game. The team, which ranges from elementary to high school players, was started by Daniel Tarnagda as a way for the the members to integrate into the community. |Skyler Ballard

My sister Natalie and her Imogen. “When I take her down to the water’s edge, when I hold her tiny foot in the cold, and clear, when I stand in it and splash for her entertainment, all the waters from all these histories collide. From the puddle of amniotic fluid that soaked my toes in the hospital to the puddles I couldnÕt hop over while pregnant, from the laboring hallucinations and flashbacks to the contractions like waves, from the obsidian pools of her eyes just opening to her searching, piercing expressions, all water flows to the lowest point. ImogenÕs eyes dig into me, hollowing and filling me. Her eyes, like whetstones on which I must drag my meanings and hone my understanding, ask and ask and ask. Water always flows to the deepest place.” ÐNatalie. Shot on 120 film. |Gabe Sacrlett

Through Our Eyes-09/19/17

Best of the best:

Demetrius and Demontaze Duncan play fight outside on Muhammad Ali Blvd in Louisville, KY. “You can’t steal me though” Demetrius said to Demontaze as they discuss their boxing records. September 11th. 2017. |Michael Blackshire

Honorable mention:

Demontaze and Demetrius Duncan relax upstairs in their rooms right before they go to bed at night. “I want to get a periscope, that’s my best subject is science, I made a 48 on my last history test, that’s my least favorite” Demontaze Duncan said while discussing class. “School isn’t my best subject, all of the subjects, none of them are my best,” Demetrius Duncan said while discussion school. September 7th, 2017. |Michael Blackshire

Other participants:

This is the Big Bethel AME Church in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. It is the oldest African-American congregation in the area. Its basement was the first African-American public school in the city. |Gabe Scarlett

Louisiana Tech University wide receiver Rhashid Bonnette (86) rects after Western Kentucky University defensive back Joe Brown (7) intercepted a pass intended for him during the Hilltoppers’ 22-23 loss to Louisiana Tech University on Saturday September 16, 2017 at L.T. Smith Stadium. |Shaban Athuman

A focus stacked macro shot of one of the many specimens of Monarch Butterflies belonging to WKU’s own entomologist and beetle expert, Dr. Keith Phillips. |Thomas Helm

Dwayne Webb tries to get his foster sons to bed while Alex plays and Dawson sulks. Though Dwayne wakes up at 3 a.m. every day to go to work, he puts the boys to bed every night, which can take up to an hour. |Morgan Hornsby

Each time I come home, I notice subtle changes in my brother. On this visit, he was proud of the new words that he took from his library book and proud of the squirrel he killed. It still lies in our laundry room freezer, waiting for something. He updates me on his accomplishments as we walk the edge of our grandmotherÕs pond, plucking armfuls of yellow flowers. He begs me to loosen a stubborn front tooth. I reach for his hand as he lunges for a singular purple flower near the waterÕs edge. The distance subsides. This process is, to me, as holy as any ritual. He gifts the green and yellow bundle to our mom; the purple he saves for my hair. |Morgan Hornsby

Through Our Eyes-09/12/17

Best of the best:

Harmony Hawks runs through her cousin’s yard in Edmonson County, Kentucky. Harmony has been in foster care with the Hawks for six months, and is on track to be adopted soon. “She should have been named hurricane,” her foster mother Jessica Hawks said of Harmony. The family lives in Grayson, Kentucky but is remodeling a home across the road to be closer to the rest of their family as they care for more children. |Morgan Hornsby.

 

Honorable mention:

From left, Dryan Neeley, Danielle Minton, Peyton Neeley, Alexandria Neeley, and Breanna Neeley watch as a solar eclipse takes place at their home in Bon Ayr Estates trailer park near Bon Ayr, Ky. on August 21, 2017. |Gabriel Scarlett.

 

Other participants:

Davis Lowe was diagnosed with a very rare mental disability at 6 months old. At the age of 3 he was formally diagnosed on the autism spectrum. He was then adopted by the Lowe family and he has been receiving therapy and schooling in order to help his progress. |Mhari Shaw.

Western Kentucky University wide receiver Nacarius Fant will return to take on Eastern Kentucky after injuring his knee last year. |Shaban Athuman.

A family watches the eclipse just before totality begins from the lawn of the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site in Fairview, Ky. |Skyler Ballard.

Dawson Thomas plays with his cat in his home in Edmonson County, Kentucky. Dawson, 6, has been in foster care with the Thomas family for half of his life. The family hopes to adopt as soon as possible. |Morgan Hornsby.

Brothers Dawson and Alex Thomas play together while their mother makes dinner in Edmonson County, Kentucky. The family lives on what their mother Laura calls a “pleasure farm,” with a few chickens, sheep, and one donkey. |Morgan Hornsby.

Breanna Neeley watches the street lights come on as a solar eclipse takes place above her home in Bon Ayr Estates trailer park near Bon Ayr, Kentucky on August 21, 2017. |Gabriel Scarlett.